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Cleanup From Hurricane Charley Moves Into Day 4; Interview With Golan Cipel's Attorney; Oprah Picked for Jury Duty

Aired August 17, 2004 - 19:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, HOST: Good evening from New York. I'm Heidi Collins.
No power, no water, but lots of sun. The recipe for frustration for hurricane survivors.

360 starts right now.

Floridians move to the breaking point as the cleanup from Hurricane Charley heads into day four.

The man Governor McGreevey said he had an affair with speaks out. My interview with Golan Cipel's attorney.

More on the shocking conversations between Scott Peterson and his mistress, Amber Frey. 360 goes inside the courtroom.

What are your kids being taught in school about sex? Is abstinence education the safest sex?

The queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, picked for jury duty. Would you want her judging you?

And they say they were caring for needy children. Authorities say they're mental torturers. What really happened at this Tennessee foster home.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COLLINS: We begin in Florida, where the line between civilization and chaos erased so easily by the power of Hurricane Charley, it's taking a while to redraw.

Even with hundreds of relief workers, power crews, troops, and others on hand to help out, the rebuilding hasn't even begun. And that's got to wait for the cleanup to finish.

For those without any of what the rest of us call the necessities of life, every hour adds to the frustration.

Here now is CNN's national correspondent Bob Franken.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lee County sheriff said his deputies had no choice but to temporarily incapacitate this man with a high-voltage taser gun after police say he tried to run over officers who were preventing them from crossing their blockades in this Fort Meyers Beach neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: That violence can escalate, and it can escalate not just from there, but to other people. Once you get 20, 30, 40 people, now you've really have a problem.

FRANKEN: Attempts by CNN to locate the man for his comments have been unsuccessful. He was briefly jailed, and is now charged with failure to obey a lawful command and resisting arrest without violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave him alone, man! He's frustrated.

FRANKEN: It was a case of frustration exploding into anger. Witnesses the man, with his three children in his minivan, simply wanted to get back to his house. When he tried to move his van past police, they tasered him and pulled him from the car. He was one of so many prevented from returning to their homes for safety reasons.

Structures that aren't destroyed are often unlivable, with no electric power for hundreds of thousands to refrigerate food and provide air conditioning in the intense summer heat.

It all adds up to more and more heated tempers. Supplies are often short, lines long for everyone. Patience is thin.


FRANKEN: Authorities say this desperate situation will remain for a long time, a very long time, Heidi, for people to control their anger.

COLLINS: So obvious on that tape. All right, Bob Franken, thanks so much for that.

Unlike yesterday, there was no Jackson family reunion in court today. That's too bad, because they missed out on a stunning surprise from the witness stand.

The case against Michael Jackson began with a psychologist's concerns about what a 12-year-old boy said to him. Today, that psychologist faced tough questions, not about what he told investigators, but about what one investigator told him.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has the latest from Santa Maria.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Quite a shocker today, Mr. Oxman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we'll see what happens. MARQUEZ (voice-over): The shocker came from Jackson attorney Brian Oxman. It involves evidence seized from a private investigator's office and whether prosecutors can use it in their case against Michael Joe Jackson.

LINDA DEUTSCH, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Today was kind of the Perry Mason moment, in which we suddenly have revealed that the psychologist who first brought this case to authorities is the same man who has as his patient one of the key investigators in the case.

MARQUEZ: The psychologist is Stan Katz, the man who evaluated Jackson's underage accuser and passed on what the boy told him to authorities. The investigator is Bradley Miller, the same Bradley Miller who was working for Jackson's previous attorney, Mark Geragos, the same Bradley Miller whose office was searched by investigators. Evidence seized there could be central to the prosecution's case that Jackson conspired to imprison and kidnap the boy and his family.

DEUTSCH: The implication from the defense, obviously, is that if the doctor knew this investigator, he must have known he was working for Jackson's lawyer.

MARQUEZ: If Jackson's defense can prove that prosecutors knew or should have known that Bradley Miller worked for Mark Geragos, then any evidence obtained from the investigator's office could be ruled off limits to the prosecution.


MARQUEZ: Now, it's not clear if the defense's gambit ever paid off today. They could never get Dr. Katz to admit that Bradley Miller was a patient of his. The judge, growing exasperated with all of this, ended up fining Brian Oxman, Jackson's lawyer, $1,000 the spot, payable immediately. And right now, defense lawyers are arguing, why does the affidavits for the search warrants themselves didn't contain all the information they should have in order to search Neverland Ranch.

Looks like we have several more days ahead of us here in Santa Maria, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, the case goes on. All right. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much for that.


COLLINS: And now to New Jersey, where the state is about to get a new governor. The question, will it be sooner or later? The current Democratic governor, after announcing he is gay, said he would resign on November 15. Republicans, who say corruption is the real issue, have begun a campaign to get him out sooner, while the man who accused the governor of sexual harassment has left the country, but he has not escaped the media.

Here now CNN's Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Golan Cipel thought he could slip away from New Jersey and the scandal enveloping the governor there, he was wrong. The Israeli-born former aide to James McGreevey going home to a suburb outside Tel Aviv to his parents and to a mob of waiting cameras, making his first televised statement.

GOLAN CIPEL (through translator): I have had a very difficult time. I have come to Israel to be with my family at this time. I cannot expand on anything for legal reasons.

FEYERICK: One former colleague tells CNN Cipel has been distraught since he came out. He planned to file a sexual harassment suit against the governor. Cipel, through his lawyer, says he is straight and was subjected to repeated advances by McGreevey. Settlement talks between the two sides broke down Thursday, just hours before the governor announced he was gay and had had a consensual affair.

GOV. JAMES MCGREEVEY (D), NEW JERSEY: I have decided the right course of action is to resign.

FEYERICK: The sexual harassment suit appears to be on hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the governor resigned, I think my client in some way felt vindicated that the governor did own up to what he had done.

FEYERICK: On Tuesday, McGreevey was back running the state, first holding terrorism drills with the federal officials, then meeting with the man who will replace him if he stays until November.

New Jersey Republicans and now Democrats are trying to force McGreevey out by September so that special elections can be held to choose who will govern next.

Those close to McGreevey vow he will not go without a fight, an aide telling CNN, We're not going anywhere. If the governor's last fight is going to be against Democratic Party bosses, then we're ready to fight.


FEYERICK: Political forecasters predicted that things would get worse for Governor McGreevey before getting better. CNN has learned that tomorrow one of his top fund-raisers will plead guilty, the fund- raiser, under investigation for, among other things, violating campaign contribution laws, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, Deb, thanks so much for that. I want to let you know, coming up on 360, we'll talk with the attorney for McGreevey's accuser.

Meanwhile, though, dozens trapped by mud. That story tops our look at news cross-country. Dryden, Washington, two mudslides, a few miles apart, closed the North Cascades Highway and trapped 65 people for several hours, 25 of them are firefighters battling a wildfire. The rest were motorists, the mudslides caused by a furious storm there.

Codcroft (ph), New Mexico, a similar plight, mud everywhere. It's filled up the interiors of cars, gummed up engines, under hoods. Heavy rains caused mud to slide right off hillsides.

San Francisco, give us back our pot. It's worth nearly a million bucks. Thirty-eight patients who use marijuana for medical purposes, which California allows, are smoking mad and asking the courts for help. That's because marijuana is illegal under federal law, so it is often confiscated from patients.

Athens, Greece, what's a little pain, huh? Despite a broken right thumb, Allen Iverson was in tonight's starting lineup for the U.S. Olympic basketball team's game against Greece. He broke it during Sunday's loss to Puerto Rico. The U.S. beat Greece 77 to 71.

That's a look at stories cross-country tonight.

360 next, a mother and father accused of abusing 18 children. Find out how this one-time Family of Distinction ended up in serious trouble with the law.

Plus, teaching abstinence. Is telling kids to just say no enough to keep them safe? We'll take a closer look, part of our special series Teach Your Children.

And Scott Peterson's lover, hear the secret audiotapes.

But first, your picks, the most popular stories on right now.


COLLINS: Tom and Debra Schmitz are known for caring for children no one else wants. In 2000, while living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, they earned the Family of Distinction Award for opening their home to special-needs children. The couple now lives in Tennessee, and the irony is, today they were in court, accused of abusing 18 children they are supposed to love and care for. But they say they have done nothing wrong.

Here's CNN's Eric Philips now.


DEBRA SCHMITZ, CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE: This time has been unbelievably sad. You just see the swings going back and forth, and they're motionless. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the basketball court where there's no children playing basketball.

ERIC PHILIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Debra Schmitz and her husband, Tom, say their children were their lives. Now they are gone, all 18 of them.

SCHMITZ: We have never missed a night of giving them a kiss good night.

PHILIPS: That was until June 21, when agents with Tennessee's Department of Children's Services and sheriff's deputies removed the children from the Schmitz' home in rural Tennessee as part of a child abuse investigation. Yellow ribbons now hang beckoning their return.

The youngsters range from 1 to 17 years old, some adopted, some foster children, one biological son, all with special medical or emotional needs. The Schmitzes say taking care of the children was their calling from God.

But investigators say the abuse they inflicted was sinister, such as throwing a knife at a 14-year-old girl, forcing the kids to dig their own graves, or making them sleep in a makeshift cage.

SHERIFF JOE SHEPARD, GIBSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE: I found the cage that was talked about where they made some of the children sleep in that cage at night. We found the graves. We had one of the kids point out the graves.

PHILIPS: Two home-care nurses alerted authority as to what they'd seen. A search warrant affidavit details, quote, "The nurse observed Debbie Schmitz slam the girl's head into the kitchen counter. According to the nurse, Debbie Schmitz was trying to get the girl to admit to something she did not do."

CARLA AARON, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES: It's when you get reports that are very substantial or that come from professionals that know the children or have some intimate knowledge, those are taken very seriously.

PHILIPS: Though investigators say they have a strong case, the Schmitzes maintain there's no evidence of aggravated child abuse they are charged with.

SCHMITZ: Please, we want our children back.

PHILIPS: Eric Philips, CNN, Memphis, Tennessee.


COLLINS: To another topic now, an attempt to bring peace to Iraq's holy city of Najaf is dashed by a snub. That tops our look at global stories in the uplink.

In Najaf, radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr refused to meet with a delegation from the Iraqi National Conference. It is trying to negotiate an end to the violent two-week standoff between Sadr's militia and U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Ping Tong (ph), Taiwan, Taiwanese F-16s fly in formation as part of military exercises aimed at fighting off an invasion by Chinese forces. China has long threatened to use force to take back Taiwan. It does not recognize Taiwan's claim of self-rule.

Fosscastle (ph), England, powerful flash floods tear through this fishing village and toss cars around like toys. The wall of water was created by torrential rains along Britain's southwestern coast. At least 15 people are missing.

The foothills outside Jerusalem, what could be a discovery of biblical proportions. Archaeologists find a cave that they believe John the Baptist may have used to anoint early Christians. But other scientists say the proof is inconclusive.

And that's tonight's uplink.

360 next, teaching abstinence. Is it just enough to really say no? The great divide over keeping teens safe and healthy, part of our special series, Teach Your Children.

Also tonight, the sky's the limit for millions of Americans in wheelchairs. But should airlines spend millions of dollars to make bathrooms on planes accessible to them? Meet one 9-year-old girl who thinks they should and is working hard to make a change.

And a little later, from the talk show to the courthouse, Oprah does jury duty.


COLLINS: The only safe sex is no sex. That's the lesson more and more kids are getting in sex education class. Yet a new poll by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and NPR suggest just 15 percent of Americans believe only abstinence should be taught, while 46 percent think the right approach is lessons on abstinence, plus contraception and STDs.

CNN's Adaora Udoji reports on the sex ed debate, as we continue our special series, Teach Your Children.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Images of sexuality are everywhere. Among educators, a seismic split on how teens should deal with sex. Some back comprehensive sex education, others programs promoting abstinence until marriage.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will double federal funding for abstinence programs...

UDOJI: Abstinence programs have a powerful backer. The federal government spent $75 million on them this year. President Bush wants that doubled by 2005. Eighteen-year-old Antwonye Kirpatrick speaks nationwide, arguing only abstinence prevents unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

ANTWONYE KIRPATRICK, ABSTINENCE CLEARINGHOUSE: I don't think that young people are emotionally ready. They are not stable enough to participate in sexual activity. UDOJI: Teenage pregnancy has steadily declined 30 percent the past decade, says the Centers for Disease Control. Abstinence supporters take credit, but so do comprehensive sex ed advocates, who support abstinence teaching plus facts on contraception. They note that's still 800,000 pregnancies a year. STDs also remain prevalent. CDC researchers estimate young people account for one-half of the 40,000 new HIV cases yearly.

Advocates argue teens are already having sex, by some estimates, 65 percent by age 18, and, like peer educator Stephanie Perez, say information is critical.

STEPHANIE PEREZ, PEER EDUCATOR: I have friends that have contracted a STUDENT or friends that I know that has become pregnant. And it's because she's not aware of certain things.

UDOJI (on camera): It's a serious debate with few irrefutable conclusions, though one recent study did give both sides something, reporting that more teens are waiting to have sex, and when they do, more are using condoms.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: Let's get right to that serious debate. Joining me tonight to talk more about sex education now in Washington, Genevieve Wood. She is a spokesperson for the Family Research Council, which promotes abstinence education. Hello to you.


COLLINS: And in L.A., Jessica Wiener a self-described actionist who believes teens should get a broad-based sex education. And hello to you as well.


COLLINS: Ladies, Genevieve, I would like to begin with you. Why do you think that the best approach is this abstinence-only when talking to kids about sex?

WOOD: Well, because we're talking about kids, Heidi. We're not talking about 25-year-olds that we're giving this message to. We're talking to as young as 7-, 8-year-olds, but in many cases, 12-year- olds. And the fact is, they are children. And they need to be told what to do in some of these scenarios, not say, Well, you're adult enough to make an adult decision. They are not.

And the fact is, you know, as your report alluded to, government funding on this, currently the U.S. government spends $12 on contraception and sex education programs for every $1 that it spend on abstinence education. So it is not at all a level playing field. And I would argue that the fact that we have been teaching more abstinence in recent years is contributing to the fact that teens are waiting longer before engaging in sex. But if we're really going to have the debate, I think they have to get 50-50 funding to know which one works best.

COLLINS: Jessica, your thoughts on this? I mean, you say that abstinence is actually a word that some of these kids are confused about. What is so confusing?

WIENER: You know, I think the word abstinence takes on a lot of different meanings for our young people. And the students that I work with and the teachers that I work with don't have a really valuable working definition of what abstinence is. They think it just means abstaining completely from sex. Or sometimes they think it just means not having sex until you are married.

And there's a real disclarity in what that means for them in their everyday life. I think, unfortunately, abstinence is an ideal situation, but we live in an unrealistic world right now, where our teens and our young adults are having sex. And I think it's a crime to not arm them with the proper information and education about their bodies so that they can make the proper decisions.

The teens that I work with and the parents that I work with want to have more information and access information available so that they can work together on making the decisions that are going to be best for them.

COLLINS: Genevieve, is it fair to say, I mean, it certainly is out there, coming into this segment right here tonight, we showed a video. I mean, the video, the magazine articles, some of the things that these kids are seeing that are out there are obviously racy. They're surrounded by it.

WOOD: They are. And we have sexualized the culture that our children grow up in. And to a great extent, we sexualize our children, which is a terrible thing. And we ought to be going after those things.

But the fact is, you know, we don't take this approach with other behaviors. We don't say, Well, kids are going to smoke anyway, so let's make sure we give them low-tar cigarettes. We don't say, Well, they are going to try drinking anyway, so let's make sure that we go give them...


WOOD: ... beer that has less alcohol in it.

COLLINS: ... underage are illegal.

WOOD: Well, they, well, they are. But maybe we ought to be looking at, I mean, and it's also illegal for, you know, an adult to have sex with a minor, like a 21-year-old guy having sex with a 16- year-old. But the fact is...

WIENER: Heidi...

WOOD: ... we're, what we're promoting right now, we're not giving kids all the facts on this. The fact is...

WIENER: We're not.

WOOD: ... the majority of sexually transmitted diseases, you are not protected against by using a condom.

COLLINS: All right. All right. Jessica?

WOOD: And that's a scary thing.

WIENER: I also, well, I think actually agree on some of these points with Genevieve in that we need to teach within our abstinence programs, within a comprehensive sex ed environment, we need to teach self-esteem tools and we need to teach character building and defining moments and how to set boundaries.

But we're not just talking about sex. We're talking about sexuality and health and human development that oftentimes come along with these sex education courses. And so we can't expect to teach our kids in a vacuum of experience out there to abstain without understanding what are the realistic pressures facing them.

If you have a young woman who's pledged to have abstinence until marriage but ends up marrying a man who has not been abstinent in his life, she has no idea...

WOOD: She should know.

WIENER: ... or is lesser prepared...


WIENER: ... to understand how to handle that.

COLLINS: Unfortunately, ladies, that is all the time we have tonight. We sure do appreciate your thoughts. Genevieve Wood and Jessica Wiener, again, thank you.

WOOD: Thank you.

WIENER: Thank you.

COLLINS: Today's buzz is this, which do you think should be taught in schools, abstinence, sex education, or neither? Log onto to vote. We'll have the results at the end of the show.

Tomorrow night, as we continue our special series Teach Your Children, reading at risk. Research shows an alarming drop in reading across America. Are we spiraling toward illiteracy?

Thursday, single-sex schools, the pros, the cons. Is it the best environment for your child?

And Friday, a look at Deep Springs College, where students call the shots. Find out why it's being called the most successful experiment in higher education in U.S. history. You can also see our report on America's changing classroom at

The man Governor McGreevey says he had an affair with speaks out. My interview with Golan Cipel's attorney.

More on the shocking conversations between Scott Peterson and his mistress, Amber Frey. 360 goes inside the courtroom.

And the queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, picked for jury duty. Would you want her judging you?

360 continues.


COLLINS: 360 next, He Said, He Said. I'll talk with the lawyer of the man at the center of a sex scandal that brought down a governor.

But first, tonight's "Reset." President Bush in Pennsylvania today told Boeing workers he is committed to his anti-missile defense systems and anyone who isn't doesn't understand 21st century threats.

The Kerry campaign signals it has not given up on winning Arkansas's six electoral votes. In his second visit to the state in two weeks, vice-presidential candidate John Edwards held a town hall meeting in Fort Smith. He blasted President Bush's tax cuts and promised that he and Kerry would create new jobs if elected.

The army says Halliburton will get 15 percent less in its payments from now on until questions of overcharging are resolved. The military contractor which was run by Dick Cheney before he became vice president says it will go to court to get its money. And that's tonight's "Reset."

The man accusing New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey of sexual harassment left the U.S. today to be with his family in Israel. Golan Cipel says he is not gay and did not have an affair with the governor as has been reported. But McGreevey's office reportedly told the FBI last week that Cipel demanded millions of dollars to keep the issue out of court. Joining us now, Rachel Yosevitz, an attorney for Cipel. Thanks for being here, Rachael, appreciate your time.


COLLINS: So, your client was quoted in an Israeli newspaper saying that "I'm not going to leave the United States until justice is done." Now that we know he's in Israel, what happened? Why the change?

YOSEVITZ: Well, he does feel to some extent justice has been done with the resignation of Jim McGreevey. He feels, and rightfully so that by Governor McGreevey coming out and saying that under the circumstances of this alleged affair-because, of course we don't believe it was an affair, it was a sexual harassment, so under the circumstances surrounding the sexual harassment of the governor against Golan Cipel he's resigning. And that is some sort of vindication for my client.

COLLINS: But what more does Golan Cipel want?

YOSEVITZ: At this point he needs some rest and he needs to be with his family and he needs to feel as the world is still a good place to be. And he needs to just take it easy for a little while.

COLLINS: What more (ph) from the governor?

YOSEVITZ: He hasn't decided that yet. And that is something he is going to take a few days to decide and come back to the United States, have a meeting with his attorneys and take it from there.

COLLINS: As we have said and you have mentioned, Golan Cipel says he is not gay. This is a case of sexual harassment. What was the nature of that claim of sexual harassment?

YOSEVITZ: Well, there were several incidences of sexual misconduct by the governor. There was sexual oppressive behavior on the part of the governor. Unwanted touching and unwanted sexual advances towards him.

COLLINS: In fact, referring to Governor McGreevey, your client actually told an Israeli newspaper this, he said. "He hit on me over and over. I was afraid to stay with him alone." Did Golan Cipel ever have sex with Governor McGreevey?

YOSEVITZ: No, he did not.

COLLINS: Your client says, though, he was harassed in some way other than at least a dozen times or so, he was a 31-year-old man at the time. Why didn't he immediately report what he says was happening to him?

YOSEVITZ: When you are in a situation like that, and you are dealing with the most powerful politician of the state of New Jersey, and you are an Israeli citizen and your family is not there and you don't have many very close friends or confidants, where do you go?

COLLINS: He was 31 years old.

YOSEVITZ: Yeah. There are women that go through this, sexual harassment in the workplace that are older than 31. And there are cases in New Jersey that talk about women that have gone through this for years and years until they finally reach that point where they can no longer stand the sexual harassment. And they finally then say, you know what, I have had enough and they go seek help. And in this particular case that is what happened. He had been going through this for quite a while and there had been over a dozen sexual attempts here. And he reached a point where--his family wasn't here. He didn't have a lot of friends. And he reached the point where just said, I'm not doing this anymore and he forcibly told the governor that for the first time forcibly. He had told the governor before he didn't want to do this. Or didn't want the governor to do this. But finally reached a point where forcibly told the governor, no more.

COLLINS: Rachel Yosevitz, we appreciate your time here tonight. Thanks so much.

YOSEVITZ: Thank you.

COLLINS: For the record, we asked for a McGreevey representative to join us for this discussion tonight. The governor's office did decline.

After five days and 43 phone calls, Amber Frey's direct testimony in the Scott Peterson murder trial ended today. Lawyers for the accused killer get their chance to cross-examine the prosecution's star witness tomorrow. Today, the jury heard more tales of sex, lies and betrayal from the final recorded conversations between Peterson and his former mistress. CNN's Ted Rowlands has the very latest from the courtroom.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More taped conversations of Frey grilling Peterson looking for more information.

SCOTT PETERSON: The truth will prevail. And that's why we're confident.

AMBER FREY: When? When? Why does it have to take so long? Why does my life have to be affected by this and when sit going to stop, Scott?

ROWLANDS: In this conversation recorded five weeks after Laci Peterson disappeared, Scott tries to arrange a meeting with Amber.

FREY: What do you think or what do you feel would come of, you know, seeing me?

PETERSON: I just think it would help both of us so much in easing the things we're going so through. I just never felt such a strong desire as I do.

ROWLANDS: At one point Peterson sounds like he's crying while he keeps pressing for a rendezvous.

PETERSON: I thought I could come to wherever you are. Like tonight just for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or something to see you or talk to you.

FREY: I can't have you come to my house, Scott.


FREY: And I have Ayanna with me.

PETERSON: I know. I can't say I understand, but OK.

FREY: Scott? PETERSON: You know I'm not a monster, Amber.

FREY: I never said you were, Scott.

PETERSON: Thank God I know. But you know I could never hurt you or her or anyone. You know that, don't you?

ROWLANDS: Peterson even suggests meeting at his half sister's cabin. Frey never agrees on the tapes to a meeting, and eventually on February 19, almost four weeks after she started cooperating with police, she cuts off communication with Scott Peterson.


ROWLANDS: Tomorrow morning Mark Geragos will have his chance at Amber Frey in cross-examination. Late today the judge in the case ruled that Geragos cannot ask Amber Frey about her sexual relationships before or after she met Peterson -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, Ted Rowlands, thanks so much for that. Covering the Peterson case in "Justice Served" tonight is Court TV anchor Catherine Crier. Thanks so much for being here, as always, Catherine. I want to go ahead and play another part of the conversation that was heard in court. Let's go ahead and listen for a moment.


PETERSON: I am going to speak to the press this coming week.

FREY: When?

PETERSON: During this coming week.

FREY: Do you have a date?

PETERSON: Um... well, I'm debating on when it should be done because Tuesday is the State of the Union Address.


PETERSON: So that will take up, you know, a lot of time.

FREY: I know it will.

PETERSON: And um, I want maximum coverage obviously.


COLLINS: This would appear as if Scott Peterson, Catherine, is pretty media savvy. Does that say anything?

CATHERINE CRIER, COURT TV: I'm just shaking my head because we remember early on when the search was fervent he refused to go on he wanted the focus to be on Laci. Now he's very calculated deciding how to do this when everyone is beginning to question his involvement. Doesn't make sense unless he's wanting personal exposure.

COLLINS: Now, I know, Court TV obtained the transcript of another phone call actually between Laci's mother Sharon Rocha and Scott Peterson. She had just learned about the affair and here's what she said in part during that conversation. She said, "You tell me where she is then you get the hell out of here. Tell me where she is--I want my daughter, Scott. That's all I want from you. I don't care what happens to you." Why isn't this jury actually hearing this conversation like some of the other recordings between Amber and Scott?

CRIER: Because the relevance. He doesn't make any confession on here. It's outside the presence; there is nothing in here other than the emotion that one would be able to present. So it's not admissible.

COLLINS: Rocha also asks Peterson point blank whether or not he killed Laci. What are your thoughts on that?

CRIER: He says, "No," but he says, "No" as he responds to Amber throughout all of the conversations. One liners, very deliberate, very matter-of-fact, no emotion. Any man, I don't care how cold, would be virtually in tears if he had nothing to do with this thing. "I'm so sorry. I want to find her." Not there.

COLLINS: As we learn a little bit more about how Sharon Rocha responded to some of these things as she learned then, your thoughts on that.

CRIER: It's absolutely heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. She is virtually begging Scott Peterson. But it wasn't until the day before that the cops came and revealed the information about Amber to her and so at that point in time think of the conflict she was going through. She loved this young man and all of a sudden now she in her own heart, I think truly believes he had something to do with this.

COLLINS: There's quite a bit of debate about whether this case is about circumstantial evidence the fact that the body of Laci and Conner were found at the same place that Scott Peterson was.

CRIER: That is still circumstantial, but I think that prior to this information from Amber a lot of people said, maybe did he it but they may not get a conviction. This is very, very powerful and they have more to build on including the medical examiner, the dogs, the tracking survey, what he was picked up with, I think it's a lot more powerful evidence.

COLLINS: Do you think either side had any idea of the impact of Amber Frey?

CRIER: I think the prosecution probably was hoping the jury would be moved. But Geragos got a couple of tickets for his family to start in tomorrow to watch. We'll see what he got in mind.

COLLINS: We will indeed. Thank you so much Catherine Crier, as always. 360 next. A little girl with cerebral palsy on a crusade to change the airlines. Find out why.

Plus killers of the sea strike again. A flashback to the summer of the shark. How quickly we forget.

And Oprah in the jury box. Would you want the talk show queen deciding your guilt or innocence?


COLLINS: If you are a parent, you pay attention when your little girl says she has to go to the bathroom. But if you are in an airplane your daughter is trapped in a wheelchair by cerebral palsy and the wheelchair doesn't fit, you've got a problem. That's what happened to this Laila Kawar and her daughter Rasha. When they got home Rasha began a campaign to make sure it didn't happen to anyone else. Writing a letter to the President and writing a petition for wheelchair accessible bathrooms on planes. I spoke with Rasha and her mother earlier and we should note that Rasha's answers were typed into a computer that supplies her voice.


COLLINS: Rasha, I know that about a year ago or so you were on a plane back to America from Israel. Tell us what happened.

RASHA KAWAR, HAS CEREBRAL PALSY: Every year I go with mom to Israel to visit my grandmas. Last summer on our flight back from Israel I really, really needed to use the bathroom but it was too small and I mean really small. And it was so hard to fit in it with mom and I hit my head maybe 100 times. Maybe less and it hurt a lot.

COLLINS: Why did this make you so upset? Did you feel like things were a little bit different for you than other people on that plane?

KAWAR: When we went back to our seats, I saw that mom was very sad. I was very upset and angry too. Because this is not fair, right?

COLLINS: Rasha I know that it made you very upset. You decided to actually write to the president about this. How did that letter go? What did it say?

KAWAR: I wrote a letter to the President of the United States and told him about the problem and told him that he needs to care about everybody in America.

COLLINS: Laila, she started a petition about this. Still trying to gather some signatures. But how many does she have right now? What has happened so far?

LAILA KAWAR, RASHA'S MOTHER: We have 9,000 signatures right now. We feel that's a blessing because when we started we didn't expect more than 500 or a thousand maximum. COLLINS: Yeah and you guys did this on the Internet. Also I want to make sure we let you know about the Department of Transportation, they gave us a bit of a quote here, a letter that they sent to Rasha, as well. We want to share that with the viewers now. It says it is not that accessible rest room units are terribly expensive in themselves. We're told they cost about $12 or 13,000 each. The real problem is they are much bigger than the regular rest room units so much so they would take up the space that would otherwise be used for two to four seats on many airplanes. How did it make you feel when you read this letter?

LAILA KAWAR: Well, money is important but dignity of human being is much, much more important. I remember one time Rasha was speaking in a conference and someone told her, they said there's a problem because--can I share that?--Because the airplane will lose maybe two, three seats. And Rasha said well via great idea for airplanes to make more money and he asked her how, and she said, let's cancel all bathrooms on airplanes because if you think I don't need to use the bathroom and 50(ph) million people in America who have disabilities don't need to use the bathroom, then you don't need to use it either. And nobody else does. So let's just take off all bathrooms and put more seats.

COLLINS: Thank you so much Rasha and Laila Kawar, we appreciate your time tonight and your story.

LAILA KAWAR: Thank you so much.


COLLINS: Amazing little girl. We did contact the Department of Transportation as well. We got this written response from them. "The U.S. Department of Transportation requires fully accessible lavatories on aircraft with more than one aisle ordered by the carrier after April 5, 1990 or delivered to the carrier after April 5, 1992. As a result of this requirement aircraft with greatest passenger capacities and which make the longest flights must have a lavatory that passengers with disabilities can use. The Department will soon seek comments on whether accessible rest rooms should be required in additional aircraft."

360 next--a great white shark takes the life of a diver. The latest shark attack stirs up memories of a season when all it seemed we heard about were killers from the sea. How quickly we forget.

Also tonight, Oprah Winfrey is headed to court to fulfill her civic duty. Would you want to see her on your jury?


COLLINS: Randy Fry told a diving buddy he thought a shark would, quote, "Get him sometime." On Sunday one did. The 50-year-old avid diver was killed by what was believed to be a great white shark north of San Francisco. The deadly attack reminds us of the summer of 2001. The media had another name for it, the "Summer of the Shark." Was the fear real? How quickly we forget. (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): It started on July 6, 2001 at twilight. 8-year-old Jesse Arbogast was swimming off Pensacola's Panhandle Beach when he was set upon by a six and a half foot bull shark. That was just the start of the summer of the shark. Suddenly, the theme from "Jaws" was on everyone's mind. And stories of shark attacks were flooding in fast and furious. An 18-year-old man in Jacksonville. A second shark attack in Pensacola. Another attack in New Smyrna beach. Sharks were biting in the Bahamas, in Virginia, North Carolina, on Long Island. The sharks were out of control. Or maybe it was just a slow news season and the media certainly took the bait. Cable news covered every nibble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you prop the shark's mouth open with a baton in order to retrieve the boy's arm.

COLLINS: And the sharks even made it to the cover of "Time".

MIKE CAPUZZO, AUTHOR, "CLOSE TO SHORE": It's really an infinitesimal risk. They are rare.

COLLINS: He has a point. Truth is, humans are more of a danger to sharks. Think shark fin soup. According to the international shark file there were 76 unprovoked shark attacks in 2001. That was nine fewer than in 2000. And while beach goers were staying out of the water in droves, shark experts were taking to the air waves offering advice.

CAPUZZO: If you see a shark Lord knows you want to get out of the water.

GEORGE BURGESS, INTERNATIONAL SHARK ATTACK: Popping on the noses is one good thing. Sharks do respect a pop to the nose.

COLLINS: The summer of the shark ended, it seemed, on September 11 when there was a more important story to report. And three years later, months before an election with a country at war, we don't seem as ready to be reeled in by every big fish story. How quickly we forget.


COLLINS: A jury is supposed to be anonymous but court watchers in Chicago are finding it impossible to keep their eyes off one juror. She sits in the front row, takes notes and bear as striking resemblance to a billionaire talk show host with a familiar first name. Could it be? Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember when Oprah emerged victorious after cattlemen sued her for disparaging meat?


MOOS: Well, now she is the jury.

(on camera): Oprah Winfrey is going to be a juror in a murder trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can handle it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can handle it.

MOOS (voice-over): She has handled celebs ranging from the Donald to Arnold but now she is being shepherded around wearing a red juror sticker just like everyone else. Not that she wanted on the jury.

WINFREY: Why did I decide? I was ordered.

MOOS: And while jury consultants opining on TV seem to think it was nuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of those lawyers needs a lobotomy for leaving this woman on.

MOOS: The public seemed not to mind.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overall it's good everybody has to serve. It could create somewhat of a circus atmosphere.

MOOS: And some wonder whether other jurors would just go along with Oprah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Oprah thinks he's guilty, he's guilty, right?

MOOS: But why stop at Oprah?

(on camera): Now let's say it's your murder trial. Who would you rather have, Regis or Kelly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kelly, of course, are you kidding me?

MOOS: Oprah or Regis?


MOOS: And why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just like her. I like everything about her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just remember, you're on trial for killing your husband, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know Regis a little bit so I think I would rather have Oprah.

MOOS: Ellen Degeneres or Dr. Phil as your juror?


MOOS: You think she'd be good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better than Dr. Phil, that's for sure.

DR. PHIL, TALK SHOW HOST: Are you serious?

MOOS: Dr. Phil or Ellen Degeneres.


MOOS: Thinking?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thinking I think he's a pompous (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People say I look like Dr. Phil, so I'll take him.

MOOS (voice-over): Viewers, what is your verdict?

First we had celebrity defendants, then celebrity judges.

JUDGE JUDY, TALK SHOW HOST: What the hell is wrong with you?

MOOS: Now celebrity jurors. What is next? Celebrity bailiffs?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Opera. Yeah, that's good.

MOOS: No. Oprah. Not opera. Oprah Winfrey.

Order in the court.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: 360 next, today's "Buzz." Which do you think should be taught in school? Abstinence, sex education or neither. Log on to to vote right now. We'll have the results when we come back.


COLLINS: Time now for the "Buzz." Earlier we asked, "Which do you think should be taught in schools? Abstinence, sex education or neither?" The majority of you said sex education with 77 percent of the vote. Not a scientific poll, of course, but it is your "Buzz."

I'm Heidi Collins in for Anderson Cooper. I'll see you tomorrow morning, 7 a.m. For now though, up next, PAULA ZAHN NOW.


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